The Congress party has hired Prashant Kishor, the master strategist of the 2014 Union Assembly elections and 2015 Bihar elections, for the Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat polls in 2017. Kishor, now an advisor to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has also assisted the Congress in Punjab for upcoming elections there. The Economic Times reported that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi is responsible for his recruitment, and Kishor will directly report to him. The party is looking to recover from its miserable show in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 polls, where it won just two of 80 seats. Kishor is believed to be behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi's win in the 2014 elections. He is also credited for Mahagathbandhan's landslide victory in Bihar.
Economic Times said that Kishor is likely to pitch for a larger role for Priyanka Vadra, and may even project her as the party's chief ministerial candidate for the state. To strengthen state leadership and boost voters' confidence, Kishor has asked party president Sonia Gandhi to identify a new general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh before the elections. He has decided to hire a team of professionals from outside for the campaign. The new team will operate out of Congress' war room at Gurdwara Rakabganj Road in the capital. Kishor was a public health expert before he started working on election campaigns in 2014.